Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

June 22, 2012

Man pleads to child's kidnapping, rape

CROSSVILLE — Chances are, Eric Vidal Parker will be closing in on Social Security age when he finishes paying his debt to society in Tennessee. In a sudden and unscheduled hearing Tuesday, Parker pleaded guilty to kidnapping and raping a young girl in Crossville last December.

Parker, 34, was facing 25 to 60 years in prison, but according to one of the investigators in the case, contacted state prosecutors through his attorney on Friday and offered to plead to the minimum sentence.

The case of especially aggravated kidnapping and rape of a child was schedule on today's Criminal Court docket, but Judge David Patterson held a special session Tuesday morning to accept the plea.

Patterson approved the two 25-year sentences to be served concurrently at 100 percent. In addition, Parker, if he is ever released from prison, will be under community supervision for life and will be required to meet conditions of the state's sex offender registry.

Crossville Police Det. Bill Padgett said he understood that Parker also faces up to half a dozen charges in Florida. It remains to be seen if Tennessee authorities, once Parker is in the state prison system, will allow him to return to Florida to face those charges.

The plea keeps the young victim from having to go through a public trial and brought to end a case that was strange from beginning to end.

In December, Parker, who authorities said knew the victim's mother, took a young girl from her home at Jacob's Crossing, causing local authorities to launch a massive area search. Authorities were in the process of issuing an Amber Alert for the child when they received a tip that Parker and the little girl were at a residence on Rock Quarry Rd.

The child was safely recovered, but not before she had been sexually assaulted.

Parker listed his home at the time as being Panama City Beach, FL. He reportedly was visiting relatives in the county when the incident occurred.

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